New York City’s East River is 16 miles long, has over 91 miles of shoreline and runs through 4 boroughs (all but Staten Island). Carrying the burden of an intensely industrial past, the East River is now facing an uncertain future: an unprecedented 1,000 acres of the East River’s shoreline are involved in current development proposals.
Yesterday, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and the Municipal Art Society, along with the help of 50 community groups, celebrated East River Day. East River advocates are working to ensure that future development on the East River includes real public access, is ecologically sustainable, and addresses local community needs. They’ve created a comprehensive East River Agenda for each City Council District that points to specific locations for ecologic and historic preservation, public access points, traffic calming, street end park construction, pollution remediation, and much much more. Read more about the East River Agenda here.
On East River Day, advocates traveled the length of the shoreline by Water Taxi, stopping in each borough to meet with local elected officials and discuss local development plans and priorities. I met the group in Long Island City, and rode the Water Taxi as the tour explored the waterfront parks of Southern Queens and Northern Brooklyn. Here are some photos from the trip: